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Got a Crabby Feeling About This…

We’ve all heard about the vending machine culture in Japan. You can get practically anything from hot ramen noodles, bananas, eggs even fishing lines and fishing hooks - you name it, it’s in a vending machine somewhere in Japan.

It’s big business. Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita - with one machine for every 23 people. The machines reportedly rake in around 60 billion dollars in sales every year - and that’s a conservative estimate. And since Japan introduced such services as the “Osaifu-Keitai”, you can use your cellphones to pay for items bought from the vending machines. Life couldn’t possibly get any easier than that.

But Japan may have its reputation as the world’s top destination for vending machine weirdness challenged.

In the very busy city of Nanjing in China, for as little as $2, you can now get your pincers on a little hairy “Dazha” crab straight out of a vending machine.

A vendor straps up hairy crabs for sale at a market on October 4, 2008 in Suzhou of Jiangsu Province, China. Autumn is the best season for eating hairy crabs when the crab becomes fat.
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A vendor straps up hairy crabs for sale at a market on October 4, 2008 in Suzhou of Jiangsu Province, China. Autumn is the best season for eating hairy crabs when the crab becomes fat.

Yes, crabs. Crustaceons. Live ones.

The crabs stay in a semi-comatose state thanks to the machine’s chilly temperature. The creators assure their Chinese customers that these white-bellied crabs are guaranteed to spring back fresh and presumably kicking the minute they are released from their plastic encasements.

There’s more: these particular crabs apparently taste better with vinegar – you can buy those off the vending machines too.

But if by some unfortunate circumstance your crab comes up dead, you get to claim 3 lives ones for free. Consolation for any trauma caused.

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